Trump’s Industrial Strategy Fails Without Amping Up Science

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I think President Trump is on to something in trying to compel a change in China’s predatory trade practices and finally putting a spotlight on China’s government-orchestrated intellectual property theft. I’d rather Trump and his top trade gladiators economist Peter Navarro and USTR Robert Lighthizer focus more on supercomputers, artificial intelligence, energy storage, materials science, advanced genetics and robotics, and other industries of the future than soybeans and steel, but the concern about China’s zero-sum approach to economic exchange is…

America Needs Talent

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Last Friday, I participated in a discussion with former Defense Secretary and US Senator Chuck Hagel, Washington Post senior national security correspondent Karen DeYoung, and Wall Street Journal executive Washington editor Gerald Seib on America’s Role in the World and US foreign policy. I think the panel offered fascinating insights on the times we are in — but the most powerful moment for me came when I asked the full room of students how many were from abroad, how many…

Ode to Harris Wofford: Slight Madman in Zeal for Equality

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Only a funeral, it seems, truly brings Washington together these days.  Yesterday nearly a thousand guests, including distinguished emissaries from the Bush, Clinton, and Obama worlds, gathered at Howard University to honor Harris Wofford.  That cross-party appeal sadly feels like the artifact of a bygone era, but Wofford—ex-senator, godfather of the American service movement, and man who “saved Martin [Luther King’s] life with a phone call”—shouldn’t be relegated to some stuffy realm of bipartisan dreamers.  Such a portrayal makes it…

Women, Abuse, and Weaponized Rape

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Today, I was reading through some of the Witness episodes and write-ups produced by Al Jazeera and ran across Silent War: How Rape Became a Weapon in Syria. One of the brave women willing to share said: They started to rape women at roadblocks, at home in front of their husbands, their children …. At some point, the regime took a new approach. It recorded videos of the rapes of women in detention and sent them to the fighters. And as we…

Jefferson: Yeah, But Still a…Politician

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In response to my thoughts yesterday on the uplifting message of ‘respect for political adversaries’ embedded in a recently auctioned letter between then President Thomas Jefferson and founding father John Dickinson, I got a couple of interesting responses that I’ll share here. First an aside though, a quick note on John Dickinson, the namesake of Dickinson College chartered in 1783 by Dr. Benjamin Rush. Rush convinced then Governor (then called President) of Pennsylvania John Dickinson to lend his support and…

A Founding Father’s Lesson: The Monarchist as Common Enemy

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This weekend, a friend of mine spent a few tens of thousands of dollars buying a piece of American history at the Potomack Auction House in Alexandria, Virginia. He had been tipped off by Emily Heil’s recent Washington Post article that a letter written by then President Thomas Jefferson to another founding father, John Dickinson, was for sale. As Heil points out, the letter expresses Jefferson’s view of seeing political competitors, essentially, as rival sides of a single coin.  He…

Trump Dropped Davos — So Empty Without Me?

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To weirdly paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen smacking down Dan Quayle, Donald Trump is no Eminem.  But the latter’s thumping Without Me would appeal to the Donald.  SNL should do a karaoke skit of Alec Baldwin/The Donald singing all those lines, maybe inserting Mueller for Moby.  In Trump’s mind, he is the party; he is the sizzle.  Eminem raps: But no matter how many fish in the sea It will be so empty without me And so Donald Trump dumping the World…

Doing Davos Again?

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During the five days of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the talented Barry Colson has for years owned the anchor entertainer top spot at Davos’ Hotel Europa where the most highly credentialed multinational CEOs sing, badly but passionately, along with the uncredentialed hoi polloi who want to collect stardust wherever they can go without being blocked by battalions of Swiss WEF security mercenaries. ‘The Mooch’ loves the place.  So too Paul Jacobs, the once and perhaps future CEO of Qualcomm….

We Are Kicking Ass Against HIV/AIDS in Africa — but Failing in America

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This commentary is offered by Mylan CEO Heather Bresch Africa or the US? Who’s doing a better job of suppressing HIV/AIDS? In today’s polarized political climate, the term “bipartisan collaboration” may seem like an unachievable goal. But one global health program proves it can be done – and done well. Founded by the Bush administration in 2003, continued by President Obama, and supported by President Trump, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a bipartisan success story that’s…

Pondering Clinton & Jeb from Paris

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Unexpectedly I got a free day in Paris because United airlines took out of its fleet a plane deemed too risky.  I felt more lucky than frustrated when they decided to tow the plane away from the gate. As a result I got to spend an evening and morning with nearly 300 other stranded passengers, mostly Americans, who shared openly their thoughts about Hillary Clinton’s predictable announcement that she wanted to be in charge of more than the decorations and Easter…